This article analyzes the implications of protectivemeasurement for the meaning of the wave function. According to protectivemeasurement, a charged quantum system has mass and charge density proportional to the modulus square of its wave function. It is shown that the mass and charge density is not real but effective, formed by the ergodic motion of a localized particle with the total mass and charge of the system. Moreover, it is argued that the ergodic motion (...) is not continuous but discontinuous and random. This result suggests a new interpretation of the wave function, according to which the wave function is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations. It is shown that the suggested interpretation of the wave function disfavors the de Broglie-Bohm theory and the many-worlds interpretation but favors the dynamical collapse theories, and the random discontinuous motion of particles may provide an appropriate random source to collapse the wave function. (shrink)
We investigate the implications of protectivemeasurement for de Broglie-Bohm theory, mainly focusing on the interpretation of the wave function. It has been argued that the de Broglie-Bohm theory gives the same predictions as quantum mechanics by means of quantum equilibrium hypothesis. However, this equivalence is based on the premise that the wave function, regarded as a Ψ-field, has no mass and charge density distributions. But this premise turns out to be wrong according to protectivemeasurement; (...) a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. Then in the de Broglie-Bohm theory both Ψ-field and Bohmian particle will have charge density distribution for a charged quantum system. This will result in the existence of an electrostatic self-interaction of the field and an electromagnetic interaction between the field and Bohmian particle, which not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Therefore, the de Broglie-Bohm theory as a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics is problematic according to protectivemeasurement. Lastly, we briefly discuss the possibility that the wave function is not a physical field but a description of some sort of ergodic motion (e.g. random discontinuous motion) of particles. (shrink)
Recently the first protectivemeasurement has been realized in experiment [Nature Phys. 13, 1191 ], which can measure the expectation value of an observable from a single quantum system. This raises an important and pressing issue of whether protectivemeasurement implies the reality of the wave function. If the answer is yes, this will improve the influential PBR theorem [Nature Phys. 8, 475 ] by removing auxiliary assumptions, and help settle the issue about the nature of (...) the wave function. In this paper, we demonstrate that this is indeed the case. It is shown that a psi-epistemic model and quantum mechanics have different predictions about the variance of the result of a Zeno-type protectivemeasurement with finite N. (shrink)
Quantum mechanics has sometimes been taken to be an empiricist (vs. realist) theory. I state the empiricist's argument, then outline a recently noticed type of measurement--protectivemeasurement--that affords a good reply for the realist. This paper is a reply to scientific empiricism (about quantum mechanics), but is neither a refutation of that position, nor an argument in favor of scientific realism. Rather, my aim is to place realism and empiricism on an even score in regards to quantum (...) theory. (shrink)
The existing psi-ontology theorems are based on a simplified assumption of the ontological models framework, according to which when a measurement is performed the behaviour of the measuring device is determined by the ontic state of the measured system immediately before the measurement. In this paper, I give an argument for the reality of the wave function in terms of protective measurements under a more reasonable assumption, according to which the behaviour of the measuring device during a (...)measurement is determined by the total evolution of the ontic state of the measured system during the measurement. In addition, I present a new analysis of how a protectivemeasurement obtains the expectation value of the measured observable in the measured wave function. The analysis strengthens my argument by further clarifying the role the protection procedure plays in a protectivemeasurement. (shrink)
It has been debated whether protectivemeasurement implies the reality of the wave function. In this paper, I present a new analysis of the relationship between protectivemeasurement and the reality of the wave function. First, I briefly introduce protective measurements and the ontological models framework for them. Second, I give a simple proof of Hardy's theorem in terms of protective measurements. It shows that when assuming the ontic state of the protected system keeps (...) unchanged during a protectivemeasurement, the wave function must be real. Third, I analyze two suggested psi-epistemic models of a protectivemeasurement, in which the ontic state of the system is affected by the measurement. It is shown that although these models can explain the appearance of expectation values of observables in a single measurement, their predictions about the variance of the result of a non-ideal protectivemeasurement are different from those of quantum mechanics. Finally, I argue that no psi-epistemic models exist for an ideal protectivemeasurement in the ontological models framework, and in order to account for the definite result of an ideal protectivemeasurement, the wave function must be a property of the protected system, defined either at a precise instant or during an infinitesimal time interval around an instant. Moreover, this result can also be extended to the wave function of an unprotected system. This new proof of the reality of the wave function does not rely on auxiliary assumptions, and it may help settle the issue about the nature of the wave function. (shrink)
An analysis of the two routes through which one may disentangle a quantum system from a measuring apparatus, hence protect the state vector of a single quantum system from being disturbed by the measurement, reveals several loopholes in the argument from protectivemeasurement to the reality of the state vector of a single quantum system.
Protective measurements illustrate how Yakir Aharonov's fundamental insights into quantum theory yield new experimental paradigms that allow us to test quantum mechanics in ways that were not possible before. As for quantum theory itself, protective measurements demonstrate that a quantum state describes a single system, not only an ensemble of systems, and reveal a rich ontology in the quantum state of a single system. We discuss in what sense protective measurements anticipate the theorem of Pusey, Barrett, and (...) Rudolph (PBR), stating that, if quantum predictions are correct, then two distinct quantum states cannot represent the same physical reality. (shrink)
Protectivemeasurement, which we have introduced recently, allows one to observe properties of the state of a single quantum system and even the Schrödinger wave itself. These measurements require a protection, sometimes due to an additional procedure and sometimes due to the potential of the system itself The analysis of the protective measurements is presented and it is argued, contrary to recent claims, that they observe the quantum state and not the protective potential. Some other misunderstandings (...) concerning our proposal are also clarified. (shrink)
Protectivemeasurement is a new measuring method introduced by Aharonov, Vaidman, and Anandan, with the aim of measuring the expectation value of an observable on a single quantum system, even if the system is initially not in an eigenstate of the measured observable. According to these authors, this feature of protective measurements favors a realistic interpretation of the wave function. These claims were challenged by Uffink. He argued that only observables that commute with the system's Hamiltonian can (...) be protectively measured, and that an allegedly protectivemeasurement of an observable that does not commute with the system's Hamiltonian does not actually measure this observable, but rather another related one that commutes with the system's Hamiltonian. In this paper we identify a number of unresolved issues in Uffink's proofs and argue that his alternative interpretation of what happens in a protectivemeasurement has not been justified. (shrink)
Protectivemeasurement is a new measuring method introduced by Aharonov, Anandan and Vaidman. By a protectivemeasurement, one can measure the expectation value of an observable on a single quantum system, even if the system is initially not in an eigenstate of the measured observable. This remarkable feature of protective measurements was challenged by Uffink. He argued that only observables that commute with the system's Hamiltonian can be protectively measured, and a protectivemeasurement (...) of an observable that does not commute with the system's Hamiltonian does not actually measure the observable, but measure another related observable that commutes with the system's Hamiltonian. In this paper, we show that there are several errors in Uffink's arguments, and his alternative interpretation of protective measurements is untenable. (shrink)
Protectivemeasurement might be taken to put the last nail in the coffin of ensemble interpretations of the quantum state. My goal here is to show that even though ensemble interpretations face formidable obstacles, protective measurements don't lead to any additional difficulties. Rather, they provide us with a nice illustration of a conclusion for which we had considerable indirect evidence already, namely that quantum mechanics leads to a blurring of the distinction between the intrinsic properties of a (...) system and the statistical properties of the ensemble of which it is a member. This conclusion goes for all realist interpretations of the quantum state, both the mainstream ones that take the wave function to be a real field and the more conjectural ones that take the wave function to describe our knowledge of an ensemble. (shrink)
Gao presents a critical reconsideration of a paper I wrote on the subject of protectivemeasurement. Here, I take the occasion to reply to his objections. In particular, I retract my previous claim to have proven that in a protectivemeasurement, the observable being measured on a system must commute with the system's Hamiltonian. However, I do maintain the viability of the interpretation I offered for protective measurements, as well as my analysis of a thought (...) experiment proposed by Aharonov, Anandan and Vaidman against Gao's objections. (shrink)
It has been debated whether protectivemeasurement implies the reality of the wave function. In this article, I present a new analysis of the relationship between protective measurements and the reality of the wave function. First, I briefly introduce protective measurements and the ontological models framework for them. Second, I give a simple proof of Hardy’s theorem in terms of protective measurements. Third, I analyse two suggested ψ -epistemic models of a protectivemeasurement. (...) It is shown that although these models can explain the appearance of expectation values of observables in a single measurement, their predictions about the variance of the result of a non-ideal protectivemeasurement are different from those of quantum mechanics. Finally, I argue that under an auxiliary finiteness assumption about the dynamics of the ontic state, protectivemeasurement implies the reality of the wave function in the ontological models framework. (shrink)
It is a fundamental and widely accepted assumption that a measurement result exists universally, and in particular, it exists for every observer, independently of whether the observer makes the measurement or knows the result. In this paper, we will argue that, based on an analysis of protective measurements, this assumption is rejected by the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and worlds, if they indeed exist according to the interpretation, can only exist relative to systems which are decoherent (...) with respect to the measurement result. (shrink)
In light of growing concerns about obesity, Winson (2004, Agriculture and Human Values 21(4): 299–312) calls for more research into the supermarket foodscape as a point of connection between consumers and food choice. In this study, we systematically examine the marketing of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals to children in Toronto, Ontario supermarkets. The supermarket cereal aisle is a relatively unstudied visual collage of competing brands, colors, spokes-characters, and incentives aimed at influencing consumer choice. We found that breakfast cereal products with higher-than-average (...) levels of sugar, refined grains, and trans-fats are more likely to feature child-oriented marketing in the form of spokes-characters, themed cereal shapes/colors, and child incentives on cereal boxes. These forms of visual communication are consistent with a “health exploitive” pattern of targeted marketing to children in the supermarket setting. Only one aspect of visual communication is consistent with a “health protective” pattern of marketing to children—cereals shelved within reach of children aged 4–8 had less sugar per serving and were less likely to contain trans-fats than less reachable products. We discuss the implications of our findings for the measurement and regulation of marketing to children in North American supermarkets. (shrink)
This article presents the framework and explores the measurement, correlates, and outcomes of creative adaptability, proposed here as the cognitive–behavioral-emotional ability to respond creatively and adaptively to stressful situations. Data collection was in April 2020, during the peak of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in Israel. In Study 1, a sample of 310 adults completed the newly developed CA scale, as well as spontaneity, openness to experience, creative self-efficacy, and well-being measurements. The results of exploratory and confirmatory factor (...) analyses corroborated the 9-item CA scale’s theorized underlying construct. The scale’s validity and reliability were also supported. Exploratory analyses suggested that the association between CA and well-being was mediated by creative self-efficacy and that CA may buffer the impact of individuals’ concern about Coronavirus on their well-being. In Study 2, short-term longitudinal data based on a sample of 71 students suggested that CA may predict lower psychological stress over time. Support for the CA scale’s internal consistency reliability was obtained and its test–retest reliability was established. Overall, the results shed light on this new construct as a potential protective factor. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed. (shrink)
We investigate the meaning of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. According to protectivemeasurement, a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. In a realistic interpretation, the wave function of a quantum system can be taken as a description of either a physical field or the ergodic motion of a particle. The (...) essential difference between a field and the ergodic motion of a particle lies in the property of simultaneity; a field exists throughout space simultaneously, whereas the ergodic motion of a particle exists throughout space in a time-divided way. If the wave function is a physical field, then the mass and charge density will be distributed in space simultaneously for a charged quantum system, and thus there will exist gravitational and electrostatic self-interactions of its wave function. This not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Thus the wave function cannot be a description of a physical field but a description of the ergodic motion of a particle. For the later there is only a localized particle with mass and charge at every instant, and thus there will not exist any self-interaction for the wave function. Which kind of ergodic motion of particles then? It is argued that the classical ergodic models, which assume continuous motion of particles, cannot be consistent with quantum mechanics. Based on the negative result, we suggest that the wave function is a description of the quantum motion of particles, which is random and discontinuous in nature. On this interpretation, the square of the absolute value of the wave function not only gives the probability of the particle being found in certain locations, but also gives the probability of the particle being there. We show that this new interpretation of the wave function provides a natural realistic alternative to the orthodox interpretation, and its implications for other realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics are also briefly discussed. (shrink)
The Resilience Scale for Adolescents is a highly rated scale for measuring protective factors of resilience. Even though the READ has been validated in several different cultural samples, no studies have validated the READ across samples in German from Switzerland and Germany. The purpose of this study was to explore the construct validity of the German READ version in two samples from two different countries and to test the measurement invariance between those two samples. A German sample and (...) a German-speaking Swiss sample of seventh graders completed the READ, Hopkins Symptom Checklist, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Satisfaction with Life Scale. The expected negative correlations between READ and HSCL-25 and the positive correlations between RSE, self-efficacy, and SWL were supported. Furthermore, the results of the measurement invariance demonstrated that the originally proposed five-dimensional structure is equal in the German and Swiss samples, and it can be assumed that the same construct was assessed by excluding one item. The five-factor, 27-item solution is a valid and reliable self-report measure of protective factors between two German-speaking samples. (shrink)
In recent decades, social and behavioral scientists have begun to explore how and why human beings thrive or flourish and to consider whether traits indicative of thriving or flourishing may themselves influence physical well-being. This stands in contrast to the historical tendency in these fields to focus on pathology: mental illness, psychological dysfunction, deviant behavior, social problems, and so on. In epidemiology, too, the influence of pathology is seen in a tacit emphasis on risk factors for disease outcomes and for (...) rates of morbidity and mortality, as opposed to, say, protective factors promotive of good health. Methodologically, there is nothing substantial that would prohibit looking at the world... (shrink)
It is shown that the superposed wave function of a measuring device, in each branch of which there is a definite measurement result, does not correspond to many mutually unobservable but equally real worlds, as the superposed wave function can be observed in our world by protectivemeasurement.
We investigate the validity of the field explanation of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. It is argued that a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. This is also a consequence of protectivemeasurement. If the wave function is a physical field, then the mass and charge density will be distributed in (...) space simultaneously for a charged quantum system, and thus there will exist a remarkable electrostatic self-interaction of its wave function, though the gravitational self-interaction is too weak to be detected presently. This not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Thus we conclude that the wave function cannot be a description of a physical field. In the second part of this paper, we further analyze the implications of these results for the main realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics, especially for de Broglie-Bohm theory. It has been argued that de Broglie-Bohm theory gives the same predictions as quantum mechanics by means of quantum equilibrium hypothesis. However, this equivalence is based on the premise that the wave function, regarded as a Ψ-field, has no mass and charge density distributions, which turns out to be wrong according to the above results. For a charged quantum system, both Ψ-field and Bohmian particle have charge density distribution. This then results in the existence of an electrostatic self-interaction of the field and an electromagnetic interaction between the field and Bohmian particle, which contradicts both the predictions of quantum mechanics and experimental observations. Therefore, de Broglie-Bohm theory as a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics is probably wrong. Lastly, we suggest that the wave function is a description of some sort of ergodic motion (e.g. random discontinuous motion) of particles, and we also briefly analyze the implications of this suggestion for other realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics including many-worlds interpretation and dynamical collapse theories. (shrink)
Several situations, in which an empty wave causes an observable effect, are reviewed. They include an experiment showing ‘‘surrealistic trajectories’’ proposed by Englert et al. and protectivemeasurement of the density of the quantum state. Conditions for observable effects due to empty waves are derived. The possibility (in spite of the existence of these examples) of minimalistic interpretation of Bohmian quantum mechanics in which only Bohmian positions supervene on our experience is discussed.
We show that the physical meaning of the wave function can be derived based on the established parts of quantum mechanics. It turns out that the wave function represents the state of random discontinuous motion of particles, and its modulus square determines the probability density of the particles appearing in certain positions in space.
Based on an analysis of protective measurements, we show that the quantum state represents the physical state of a single quantum system. This result is more definite than the PBR theorem [Pusey, Barrett, and Rudolph, Nature Phys. 8, 475 (2012)].
It is shown that the de Broglie-Bohm theory has a potential problem concerning the mass and charge distributions of a quantum system such as an electron. According to the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the mass and charge of an electron are localized in a position where its Bohmian particle is. However, protectivemeasurement indicates that they are not localized in one position but distributed throughout space, and the mass and charge density of the electron in each position is proportional (...) to the modulus square of its wave function there. (shrink)
We show that the de Broglie-Bohm theory is inconsistent with the established parts of quantum mechanics concerning its physical content. According to the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the mass and charge of an electron are localized in a position where its Bohmian particle is. However, protectivemeasurement implies that they are not localized in one position but distributed throughout space, and the mass and charge density of the electron in each position is proportional to the modulus square of its (...) wave function there. (shrink)
A paradigm shift in public health and medicine has broadened the field from a singular focus on the ill effects of negative states and psychopathology to an expanded view that examines protective psychological assets that may promote improved physical health and longevity. We summarize recent evidence of the link between psychological well-being and physical health, with particular attention to outcomes of mortality and chronic disease incidence and progression. Within this evolving discipline there remain controversies and lessons to be learned. (...) We discuss measurement-related challenges, concerns about the quality of the evidence, and other shortcomings in the field, along with a brief discussion of hypothesized biobehavioral mechanisms involved. Finally, we suggest next steps to move the field forward. (shrink)
We argue that the Aharonov-Anandan-Vaidman model, by using the notion of so-called “protective measurements,” cannot claim to have dispensed with the ldcollapse of the wave function,” because it does not succeed in avoiding the quantum measurement problem. Its claim to be able to distinguish between two nonorthogonal states is also critically examined.
We suggest scattering experiments which implement the concept of “protective measurements” allowing the measurement of the complete wave function even when only one quantum system (rather than an ensemble) is available. Such scattering experiments require massive, slow, projectiles with kinetic energies lower than the first excitation of the system in question. The results of such experiments can have a (probabilistic) distribution (as is the case when the Born approximation for the scattering is valid) or be deterministic (in a (...) semiclassical limit). (shrink)
Aim of the study was to analyze the posttraumatic stress disorder risk nurses, detecting the relationship between distress experience and personality dimensions in Italian COVID-19 outbreak. A cross-sectional study was conducted based on 2 data detection. Mental evaluation was carried out in Laboratory of Clinical Psychology on n.69 nurses in range age 22–64 years old. Measurement was focused on symptoms anxiety, personality traits, peritraumatic dissociation and post-traumatic stress for all participants. No online screening was applied. Comparisons within the various (...) demographic characteristics demonstrated few significant differences between groups on DASS-21, PDEQ, and ISE-R scores. Correlation analysis was performed among PDEQ, DASS-21, BFI-10 and IES-R and confirmed between anxiety and peritraumatic dissociation and post-traumatic stress; then anxiety is positively correlated to agreeableness variable of BFI-10 test. The emotional distress was protracted overtime but in long-term personality traits resulted mediator facing subjective stress. Our finding drew details for protective and predictive risk factors as well as mental health issues of nurses dealing with pandemic: healthcare workers faced the protracted challenge caring COVID-19 patients over and over again: in short time the impact was relevant, and the prolonged exposition to the stressor was tackled by personal resources such as personality traits. (shrink)
Resilience is the process and outcome of healthy adaptation despite significant adversity. Proliferation of research on the resilience construct has led to scientific concerns about the operationalization and measurement of resilience for assessment science and practice. Various studies that have investigated the psychometric properties and construct validity of the Resilience Scale for Adolescents have yielded inconsistent findings, which could partly be due to variations in the methodological approaches. This study investigated the factor structure and construct validity of the READ (...) in four European regions participating in the Universal Preventive Resilience Intervention Globally Implemented in Schools to Improve and Promote Mental Health for Teenagers project. Participants included adolescents aged 10–15 years from Spain, Iceland, Italy, and Poland. The five-factor model of the READ was similar across gender and participating regions. Construct validity of the READ was supported. After establishing construct separability, incremental validity was supported. The READ is a valid and reliable measure of protective factors involved in resilience and demonstrates promise for cross-cultural applicability. Recommendations for measuring resilience and validating the READ in future investigations are provided. (shrink)
It is argued that the components of the superposed wave function of a measuring device, each of which represents a definite measurement result, do not correspond to many worlds, one of which is our world, because all components of the wave function can be measured in our world by a serious of protective measurements, and they all exist in this world.
What is the meaning of the wave-function? After almost 100 years since the inception of quantum mechanics, is it still possible to say something new on what the wave-function is supposed to be? Yes, it is. And Shan Gao managed to do so with his newest book. Here we learn what contemporary physicists and philosophers think about the wave-function; we learn about the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the GRW collapse theory, the gravity-induced collapse theory by Roger Penrose, and the famous PBR (...) theorem; we learn about Schrödinger's original idea that the wave-function represents charge densities; we learn about the notorious measurement problem and its consequences; we learn about the challenges to find a consistent relativistic quantum theory; and we learn, of course, Gao's own suggestion for the status of the wave-function. Above all, Gao shows us the significance of protective measurements for our search of the ontology of quantum mechanics. Still not widely recognized among physicists and philosophers, protective measurements let us look deeper into quantum mechanics. For Gao this is the main tool to settle the issue on the ontological status of the wave-function: the wave-function is real because one can measure it. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to measurement theory for non-specialists and puts measurement in the social and behavioural sciences on a firm mathematical foundation. Results are applied to such topics as measurement of utility, psychophysical scaling and decision-making about pollution, energy, transportation and health. The results and questions presented should be of interest to both students and practising mathematicians since the author sets forth an area of mathematics unfamiliar to most mathematicians, but which has many potentially significant (...) applications. (shrink)
The need for quantitative measurement represents a unifying bond that links all the physical, biological, and social sciences. Measurements of such disparate phenomena as subatomic masses, uncertainty, information, and human values share common features whose explication is central to the achievement of foundational work in any particular mathematical science as well as for the development of a coherent philosophy of science. This book presents a theory of measurement, one that is "abstract" in that it is concerned with highly (...) general axiomatizations of empirical and qualitative settings and how these can be represented quantitatively. It was inspired by, and represents a generalization and extension of, the last major research work in this field, Foundations of Measurement Vol. I, by Krantz, Luce, Suppes, and Tversky published in 1971. (shrink)
The first part of this paper examines the practice of informed treatment decisions in the protective medical system in China today. The second part examines how health care professionals in China perceive and carry out their responsibilities when relaying information to vulnerable patients, based on the findings of an empirical study that I had undertaken to examine the moral experience of nurses in practice situations. In the Chinese medical ethics tradition, refinement [jing] in skills and sincerity [cheng] in relating (...) to patients are two cardinal virtues that health care professionals are required to possess. This notion of absolute sincerity carries a strong sense of parental protectiveness. The empirical findings reveal that most nurses are ambivalent about telling the truth to patients. Truth-telling would become an insincere act if a patient were to lose hope and confidence in life after learning of his or her disease. In this system of protective medical care, it is arguable as to whose interests are being protected: the patient, the family or the hospital. I would suggest that the interests of the hospital and the family members who legitimately represent the patient's interests are being honoured, but at the expense of the patient's right to know. (shrink)
One of the major roadblocks in conducting Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (ECSR) research is operationalization of the construct. Existing ECSR measurement tools either require primary data gathering or special subscriptions to proprietary databases that have limited replicability. We address this deficiency by developing a transparent ECSR measure, with an explicit coding scheme, that strictly relies on publicly available data. Our ECSR measure tests favorably for internal consistency and inter-rater reliability, as well as convergent and discriminant validity.
This paper challenges “traditional measurement-accuracy realism”, according to which there are in nature quantities of which concrete systems have definite values. An accurate measurement outcome is one that is close to the value for the quantity measured. For a measurement of the temperature of some water to be accurate in this sense requires that there be this temperature. But there isn’t. Not because there are no quantities “out there in nature” but because the term ‘the temperature of (...) this water’ fails to refer owing to idealization and failure of specificity in picking out concrete cases. The problems can be seen as an artifact of vagueness, and so doing facilitates applying Eran Tal’s robustness account of measurement accuracy to suggest an attractive way of understanding vagueness in terms of the function of idealization, a way that sidesteps the problems of higher order vagueness and that shows how idealization provides a natural generalization of what it is to be vague. (shrink)
After briefly reviewing some of the empirical and philosophical literature suggesting that there may be an adaptive role for delusion formation, we discuss the results of a recent study consisting of in-depth interviews with people experiencing delusions. We analyse three such cases in terms of the circumstances preceding the development of the delusion; the effects of the development of the delusion on the person’s situation; and the potential protective nature of the delusional belief as seen from the first-person perspective. (...) We argue that the development of the delusional belief can play a short-term protective function and we reflect on the implications that this might have for our understanding of psychotic symptoms, for the stigma associated with mental health issues, and for treatment options. (shrink)
The paper presents an argument for treating certain types of computer simulation as having the same epistemic status as experimental measurement. While this may seem a rather counterintuitive view it becomes less so when one looks carefully at the role that models play in experimental activity, particularly measurement. I begin by discussing how models function as “measuring instruments” and go on to examine the ways in which simulation can be said to constitute an experimental activity. By focussing on (...) the connections between models and their various functions, simulation and experiment one can begin to see similarities in the practices associated with each type of activity. Establishing the connections between simulation and particular types of modelling strategies and highlighting the ways in which those strategies are essential features of experimentation allows us to clarify the contexts in which we can legitimately call computer simulation a form of experimental measurement. (shrink)